Community and Collaboration:
National Night Out 2023
Celebrates Unity and Togetherness

By Deb Brosseau

In its 15th year, the 2023 National Night Out block party on August 1 at Poinsettia Park Recreational Center proved to be an exceptional event, putting the spotlight on the power of community building. Hosted by Melrose Action and organized by founder, Peter Nichols, the night brought together politicians, organizations, businesses, residents, and guests for a memorable celebration of togetherness, cooperation, and collaboration.

At its core, National Night Out was established to foster stronger relationships between neighborhoods and their law enforcement agencies. This year’s event made sure to emphasize this purpose, with members of the LAPD Wilshire station, serving the Melrose Arts District, taking part in the festivities. Captain Sonia Monico and the outstanding Senior Lead Officers De’Antraye Dantzler, Ian O’Brian, and Dave Cordova actively engaged with the community, reaching out to create meaningful connections. CD5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky acknowledged the SLOs’ efforts by presenting them with certificates of commendation, recognizing the importance of uniting and partnering with each other for long-term benefits. Also in attendance was Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and several other dignitaries.

But National Night Out wasn’t just about strengthening ties between neighborhoods and law enforcement; it was also a vibrant showcase of community spirit. The Melrose Business Improvement Association played a pivotal role in promoting community building. Besides hosting an information booth to highlight the BID’s goals and accomplishments, the association secured the participation of Melrose Avenue businesses like Blu Jam Cafe, Niku Nashi Sushi, Tatsu Ramen, and Training Loft, who actively participated in the event.

One of the most significant highlights of the evening was the introduction of the “Melrose Street Band,” a brand new band comprised entirely of BID Board members and staff. Led by the visionary BID Board President Deny Weintraub on guitar and lead vocals, the Melrose Street Band emanated infectious good vibes that brought the community even closer together. Board Member Warren Blum showcased his musical talent on keyboards, while Executive Director Don Duckworth, Marketing Director Kim Sudhalter, and Deborah Blum added to the magic with their background vocals.

The Melrose Street Band became the catalyst for the biggest sing-a-long of the night, uniting everyone present with engaging renditions of beloved classics like “This Land is Your Land,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and “All My Lovin’.” Through their shared love for music and community, the band exemplified the essence of the event—coming together to celebrate unity and harmony.

National Night Out 2023 illustrated the power of community building and collaboration. It showcased how neighborhoods, law enforcement, businesses, and organizations can work hand in hand to create a more connected and vibrant community. As the night came to a close, the shared memories, laughter, and new friendships formed at the event proved that when a community comes together, incredible things can happen. With the success of this year’s celebration, the future looks bright for the Melrose Arts District, a community built on the foundation of togetherness and cooperation.

About Deb Brosseau

Deborah Brosseau provides audience development services to arts & entertainment, lifestyle, and non-profit clients. She is a freelance writer, providing anything from local listicles to corporate profiles for various online publications. Having first experienced Melrose in the ’80s, she enjoys writing about the old school creatives as well as the progressive new ones.